Bright Health raises $635M Series D to overhaul health insurance

Steven Loeb · December 17, 2019 · Short URL:

The company has now raised over $1 billion in total funding

The debate over health insurance in America in recent years has mostly centered around what role the government should take in providing citizens with care. At the same time, though, there has been a ton of innovation happening on the startup front, with companies like Clover, Oscar and Collective Health all disrupting the industry by offering new types of services to make care cheaper and more accessible. While these companies don't generally get as much attention, they are still having an impact on how care is delivered. 

One of the most successful of these startups is Bright Health; based in Minneapolis, it's a tech-centered healthcare insurance company, with a mission to make insurance less complex. Unlike a company like Oscar, which has a network of nurses, coaches, doctors that make up its concierge and doctor-on-call team, Bright Health partners with clinics and local partners and works directly with their teams. 

On Tuesday, Bright Health announced that it raised a $635 million Series D round of funding led by NEA, with follow-on investments from Bessemer Venture Partners, Cross Creek Advisors, Declaration Partners, Flare Capital Partners, Greenspring Associates, Meritech Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Town Hall Ventures.

The company had previously raised an $80 million Series A in April 2016, a $160 million Series B in May 2017, and a $200 million Series C in November of last year. This latest round brings Bright Health's total funding to over $1 billion dollars. Its current valuation was not disclosed.

"This marks NEA's fourth consecutive financing supporting Bright Health, demonstrating our unbridled enthusiastic conviction for this company," Mohamad Makhzoumi, General Partner and head of healthcare services and healthcare IT investing at NEA, said in a statement. "Bright Health is changing the face of healthcare in America by putting patients first; it is our great privilege to continue supporting the Company and NEA is committed to their plans for future growth."

Founded in 2015, Bright Health offers "Care Partner Health Plans," which can include individual, family and Medicare Advantage plans. The company says its plans are more affordable, and give patients a better experience, due to its business model of only working exclusively with one health system per market. That drives customers to those systems that are already providing better care at a lower cost. 

By only working with one health system per market, Bright Health can also drive a greater amount of market share to that one system, rather than having patients go a variety of health systems within that geography.

The new funding will be used to support the company's growth, including expanding its team, building out its products, and expanding to new geographies. Earlier this year, the company started offering individual, family and Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio, Tennessee and New York, adding to its presence in Arizona, Colorado and Alabama, making it available in 22 markets across 12 states.  

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